Speeds to drop as Connect MK closes

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A WIRELESS broadband service which improved speeds by nearly five times in some of Milton Keynes’ slowest areas will close at the end of the month.

Last Thursday, Connect MK announced to customers via email that their service would cease on February 28.

The service gave some of the city’s slowest areas, dubbed ‘not-spots’, an improved connection of up to 4MB, which is 25 times slower than BT currently advertise.

Steven Jewell, chief executive of Connect MK said: “This termination chiefly reflects a requirement by UK Broadband for Connect MK to cease using the wireless spectrum that is licensed and owned by UKB.

“Unfortunately Connect MK no longer has an agreement or any form of license enabling it to use this wireless spectrum.

“As a secondary factor we feel we ought also to acknowledge that conditions in the local broadband services market in MK have been continually transforming following the very welcome investments made by telecommunications operators.

“The council, in the light of this, has been actively reviewing whether it should continue to intervene directly in the market; since that is not an everyday activity for a council.”

Stuart Copeland, who runs his business in Wavendon Gate on using Connect MK said: “I’m very disappointed that Connect MK has closed it’s WiMAX service. We had to pay for this service on top of the BT service because it is not fast enough.

“The serviuce enabled us to take advantage of technology to make our business more efficient.

“This is going to materially affect our business and reduce our competitiveness.”

Another customer from Wavendon Gate, who uses Connect MK and is facing up to life with a connection of less than 1MB, said: “It’s just not possible in a modern household to have a connection this slow.

“We struggle to even load videos on YouTube because the service we get is so bad.

“We just want what others in Milton Keynes have the option to get – a fast, reliable service that we can use.”

Walton Park Councillor Lee Barney said he was working on an alternative for business users, but couldn’t guarantee a resolution.